I used to tour t he sout h Island of New Zealand in t he late 70s, wit h a bunch of cra z y Kiwis in an old Albion Bus. We often used the engine compartment as a cooker, as it was easy to access from inside t he cabin. One of the guys was a trained chef and he could do a f ull roast, wit hout a trace of diesel f umes. Though we’d only use it if we were in a hurr y, which was rare and it mainly got used to f lash cure our “herba l tobacco” as we trundled around the sha k y isles. Ah, memories... I t hink I’m fortunate to still have them! Gary G Smith Ravenshoe, QLD
I’VE HEARD lots of yarns of meals being prepared on a hot car or truck manifold over the years. But I’ve never heard of a full-on Sunday roast being prepared on a bus diesel. Maybe it wasn’t Sunday, but from the sounds of things, you and your Kiwi mates probably didn’t know what day it was for much of
“ANYTHING WITH A PULSE WOULD HAVE BEEN EVACUATED TO A CRISIS ASSEMBLY FACILITY”
the time. I’d be interested to know a bit more, as I reckon a fumy, oil-covered old diesel engine would be certain to impart a bit of its own – um – flavour to the finished product. Maybe a cheeky little 20W50 jus?
I tried it once, but only to heat up a can of baked beans for brekkie toast somewhere up in the high country. It was a Pajero diesel and I remember thinking the hot-running turbo was the automotive chef’s version of a microwave. I also remember I had to drive it around in circles a few times to get some heat into the turbo housing while trying not to create so much centrifugal force that the beans made a leap for freedom.
There’s bound to be a bit more to this. Anybody else got some tips? And let’s face it, if celebrity chefs can make big dollars screaming at hapless amateurs in iffy TV shows, there’s got to be a book in engine-bay gastronomy, yeah?